telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
09/22/17, 03:34 PM

Snohomish County
Volunteer Search & Rescue Team
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
Second Ascent
Second Ascent
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  April 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 10, 2004, Mt. Baker via Easton
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: April 10, 2004, Mt. Baker via Easton  (Read 34715 times)
Monika
Member
Offline

Posts: 141


April 10, 2004, Mt. Baker via Easton
« on: 04/15/04, 04:04 AM »

Paul Russell and I left at 5am on the road 2.7 miles from the trailhead at Shreiber's Meadow.  The road would be driveable a few more hundred feet but it was blocked by some sort of snopark block from from the Forest Service. Road was 95% covered.  Stayed east of the Railroad grade and instead climbed catching the east part of the Easton glacier.  Some cravasses were evident up the more standard Easton route but none where we climbed except an obvious one, easily avoided below Sherman Peak at about 9000'.  Was surprisingly icy skinning below Sherman Peak and moving over below the Roman Wall so we waited an hour until approx. noon for the Wall to soften.  No problem skinning up, in fact that aspect was just different enough that we wouldn't have had to wait to climb it.  Summited just after 1pm enjoying the thus far smooth trip and fabulous weather Cool.  Skiing down the Roman Wall was in pretty good shape .  We ended up rescuing a snowmobiler who had tried to drive/jump over a cravasse (the one we avoided that morning).  With our gear and the mechanical advantage of about 15 snowmobilers we got him out with some difficulty over the lip.  He had been missing an hour before his friends noticed and found him via his avi transceiver   but was stuck another hour with no rope approx 80 feet down and machine far deeper.  The rest of the ski below that was too soft and sloppy because it was so late in the afternoon and you were challenged to find terrain that wasn't tracked with snowmobiles. We were offered and accepted a ride at 40mph by some of the very grateful snowmobilers down most of the rutted road.  Next time I'd do the Coleman route for a better ski.  We made up for it with an awesome Birthday tour the next day.
« Last Edit: 06/03/04, 03:39 PM by Monika » Logged
wolfs
Member
Offline

Posts: 634


Re: April 10, 2004, Mt. Baker via Easton
« Reply #1 on: 04/15/04, 05:25 AM »

Interesting report. I hope those in authority will note some of the specifics of your snowmobile incident and I hope that the cost of extricating / environmental damage of not extricating snow machines from wilderness volcanos will become a discussion point at higher levels of policy making. I've always believed that snow machines should be generally banned from anything above 6000 feet (*just to pick a number) in Washington state, but especially from being on crevassed glaciers. The other bad snow machine scenario I've heard of more than once (more on St Helens) is drivers losing control of machines on steep slopes and having the driverless machines slide back down hills at reasonably high speed towards people on foot on the climbing routes.
Logged
Monika
Member
Offline

Posts: 141


Re: April 10, 2004, Mt. Baker via Easton
« Reply #2 on: 04/15/04, 07:21 AM »

Paul Russell did report the incident to the Mt. Baker Ranger Station.  Here is a link to a discussion of the incident including environmental considerations (or lack there of).
 
http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/threadz/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/332925/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

Logged
snoslut
Member
Offline

Posts: 432


Re: April 10, 2004, Mt. Baker via Easton
« Reply #3 on: 04/15/04, 09:39 AM »

Um....this is why snowmobilers top the list in bc accidents during the winter.  I am glad to hear that he lost his sled and not his life.  Others are not so fortunate.  Maybe that person will think twice next time and stay off glaciers jackass.  On another note that's too bad that the USFS doens't enforce this.  Nothing against snowmobilers (the ones with common sense anyway).  I saw snowmobilers at Crystal last year and it just pissed me off!  Loud, annoying, and tearing up the sub-alpine.  Made we want to grab a paintball gun and go tagging.  Could this be a new sport? Grin  I remember a thread like this last year.  I believe the suggestion was to report violaters to Larry Donovan at the USFS.  Didn't hear anything after that though.
« Last Edit: 04/15/04, 09:41 AM by boarddude » Logged

You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia
Paul_Russell
Member
Offline

Posts: 236


Re: April 10, 2004, Mt. Baker via Easton
« Reply #4 on: 04/15/04, 12:04 PM »

Thanks for the report Monika.  A few additional comments:

This guy was really lucky.  He had only minor facial abrasions and a badly cut lip, otherwise he was fine although in a bit of shock.  I can't imagine riding into a creavasse, and how he managed to land safely on a ledge.

We were descending at about 2:00pm when we saw a crowd of snowmobilers hanging out below.  They called over for help, asking if we had a rope.  I realized at this point what had happened (heart sinks).  Evidently his friends had located him by his beacon after being missing for an hour -- no one actually saw him go in.

While I was glad to have had training in crevasse rescue and be able to help, I have to admit to never practicing or envisioning a scenario involving a snowmobile victim.  There were a couple problems: 1) there were lots of people (like 20 snowmobilers) and several people close to the lip with no protection.  Worse case, the thing collapses and we have several victims instead of one.  2) the victim of course doesn't have a harness, so we lowered one to him trusting he could figure out how to wear it safely with some direction.  Communicating was difficult, but I was really hoping not to climb down.  Again, thank god he wasn't badly injured.

We didn't lack for advice on what to do including using a snowmobile to haul the rope up.  While it might have been entertaining to see the guy flying 100 miles an hour out of the hole, it didn't seem a particularly safe thing to do.  The whole thing was somewhat unorthodox as it was without people having proper gear, etc.  But we were able to haul his ass out easily enough with brut force.  

I breathed a big sigh of relief when he emerged at the lip as friends grabbed his limbs to heave him over the edge.  After a brief first aid check, we didn't stick around to find out more details of his ordeal.  

All told, things worked out miraculously.  And we skied back to the cars by 5pm.  

My recommendation is stay away from the Easton until its closed for snowmobilers (maybe early June?), or if you must go, take a route up the more central/west part of the glacier away from the snowmobile routes (albeit a somewaht more creavassed area).












 

Logged
HIKER1
1Member
Offline

Posts: 4


Re: April 10, 2004, Mt. Baker via Easton
« Reply #5 on: 05/13/04, 04:07 AM »

Hey gang,

I stumbled across you forum and read this thread....

I would give a special thanks to "Paul Russell" for helping extract the snowmobiler from that crevasse.  You had the right equipment for the situation and your willingness to give a hand should be commended.  I was up there with you as I was one of the people trying to help.  Thank you!!!

Paul- I will agree with you that it was very unorganized but I belive everyone up there had good intentions and that was to save a life.

As far as for him being where he should or should not be "legally speaking"  that is not true.  That particular are is open to snowmobiles and he was in the designated area.

Although, I will agree that riding on a glacier with a snowmobile is dangerous since you can't rope up.

The snowmobile could not be recovered right away but I know the snowmobile involved and his insurance company are working with the Forest Service to extract the snowmobile.  He does not want to leave it up there to pollute the environment, but organizing an extraction of a 600lb machine take a little time.  I'm sure it will be removed from the crevasse.
Logged
Monika
Member
Offline

Posts: 141


Re: April 10, 2004, Mt Baker via Easton
« Reply #6 on: 06/05/04, 03:18 AM »

Thank you "HIKER1" for your reply.  Paul has been out of town for some time.



"The snowmobile could not be recovered right away but I know the snowmobiler involved and his insurance company are working with the Forest Service to extract the snowmobile.  He does not want to leave it up there to pollute the environment, but organizing an extraction of a 600lb machine take a little time.  I'm sure it will be removed from the crevasse."

I spoke with the point person at the Forest Service handling the incident.   The snowmobiler's insurance company did contact the forest service (but not the snowmobiler).

The Forest Service said that they will not  be able to remove the snowmobile because it would be too dangerous
(and add more damage to the environment in the process of extracting it as well as be very costly I might add).


Do you remember that one of the snowmobiler's friends videotapped us giving our names and the Coordinates of the incident??  Could you please email me the contact information of that friend so that I can get those coodinates and give them to the right person at the Forest Service?  They would very much like to have those coordinates for their records.  Thanks!!
Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.